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There are three areas that shine out in Madrid above all others; the architecture, its gastronomy, and its art. Probably nowhere else in the world is so much art collected together in a small area as in the artistic triangle created by the Prado, the Reina Sofia, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza museums. All of these are located within a few minutes' stroll from one of Madrid's main train stations, Atocha which is also home to the Atocha Cercanias platforms. Also known as Madrid Puerta de Atocha, it's the largest station in Madrid and couldn't be more conveniently located from the city center and its attractions. Madrid Atocha itself serves long-distance trains from the southern regions of Spain as well as a daily service to Paris while the Cercanias trains provide local commuter services and link different areas of the capital and surrounding suburbs. They also link Atocha Station to Chamartin Station, a short hop of just three or four minutes. From Chamartin, passengers can catch high-speed intercity trains to northern Spain.
Madrid Atocha Cercanias station is located to the south of the city center in the Arganzuela district. Cercanias trains can be reached either from street level or through the main Atocha entrance, an imposing yet fanciful wrought-iron structure built in the 19th-century. It is part of Madrid's extensive and frequent transport network of subway trains and buses while taxi ranks and car hire desks can also be found at the station. From the Prado Museum, it's a pleasant walk to the train station Madrid Atocha Cercanias either through the Retiro Park or down the Paseo del Prado and Paseo de la Infanta Isabel.
Thyssen Bornemisza Museum is virtually opposite the Prado while the Reina Sofia Museum of Contemporary Art is across the road from the station. Visitors can also take a combination of subway lines 1 and 2 or bus routes 10, 14, 19, and 32 to travel to the train station Madrid Atocha Cercanias from the Prado Museum. Both subway stations Atocha Renfe and Estacion del Arte give access to Cercanias trains. Another tourist hub is the area around the Palacio Real or Royal Palace. This is also where the impressive Madrid Opera House is located. From here the route takes walkers past the Opera House, along Calle de Santiago, through Calle Mayor, and onto Calle de Atocha which finishes at the station. This journey can also be made on subway lines 2 and 5 or bus route 32.
Strolling from the Prado or Thyssen Bornemisza Museums to the train station Madrid Atocha Cercanias takes approximately 15 minutes, or slightly longer if the walk passes through the Parque de El Retiro, while walking from the Royal Palace and the Opera House takes up to 45 minutes. Traveling by bus or subway from the museums takes just 10 minutes while making the journey by public transport from the palace district takes up to 30 minutes.
As with all major Spanish transport hubs, the Madrid Atocha Cercanias station has been made as accessible as possible for travelers with limited mobility. Madrid Atocha station is fully accessible by wheelchair with entrances at two levels and both elevators and escalators connecting the concourses with the Cercanias platforms. Assistance can be booked in advance by calling the Atendo service on (0034) 902 109 420 or by visiting its office which can be found on the station's second level near the main entrance. This free service helps passengers navigate the station as well as board their trains. Restrooms, cafes, and stores are also accessible by wheelchair as well as those with limited mobility. Platform edges have blister paving while braille information can be found on the underside of stairway handrails.
Madrid Atocha Train Station is a tourist destination in itself with its vaulted wrought-iron architecture partly designed by Gustave Eiffel of Parisian fame and the tropical rainforest which soars towards the ceiling in the main concourse area. The green theme is continued outside, as Madrid's largest park the Parque de El Retiro is just five minutes' walk away from the main entrance. Passengers can leave their luggage safely in storage and enjoy a rural stroll or take a boat trip on the lake.